It is simply amazing to watch how boardgames do on Kickstarter. I have absolutely zero statistics, but it just seems to me that for every one Kickstarter project that fails to reach funding, nine more are successful in raising the minimum funds to launch the project.
I must admit, when Xia: Legends of a Drift System first appeared on Kickstarter asking for a minimum $100,000 in funding, I was nervous. I had playtested it a number of times (you can read my original review here) and absolutely loved it. I just have a soft spot in my heart for games in the same genre as Space Trader, Privateer, and other captain-of-your-own-ship games. And this is a boardgame! Not a PC or iOS game. (Although, truth be told, I would love to see this game ported over to a digital game one day.)
My concerns weren’t just mine alone. Plenty of commenters expressed in the early days of the 35-day funding drive that the minimum price was just too high. There were concerns that there were no stretch goals. And word just didn’t seem to be getting out fast enough.
Well, I’m happy to report that those concerns disappeared about 12 days in or so. Not only has Xia successfully passed its minimum funding goal, but, at the time I’m writing this, the total funding stands at $278,053 and continues to rise, giving hope that the one final stretch goal (tiles made from some tougher materials) of $300k might be reached in the last 48+ hours.
Anyone who has watched any Kickstarter project knows that the last 48 hours can involve some crazy fundraising. This is partially due to the number of Kickstarter fans who turn on the 48-hour Reminder notification for projects they find of interest. I do it all the time, and I will admit that I’ve funded a number of projects over the last few years after getting that reminder email. Well, I fully expect a lot of folks to get the Xia reminder email, and when they see how much money this project has raised AND how many stretch goals it has produced AND that it has some KS exclusives that won’t be available once the game is available via retail… well, I think that last $300k stretch goal is probably a no-brainer.
There are a LOT of boardgame projects on Kickstarter, and I certainly understand that many folks are on a budget and must pick which projects to fund carefully. I was the second backer of this project — I was that convinced after playtesting it with the sample kit that game designer Cody Miller sent to me. Even the prototype kit was well-done, so with all the improvements (graphics, quality of parts, replacing poker chips with custom metal tokens, etc.) this game is going to be a stunner. And Cody has opened up the game for modification by including a Developer Kit with every $100 game — extra tiles, extra cards, and much more. And, of course, the ability to have your own ships 3D printed and custom Ship Cards created with his provided graphics and templates doesn’t hurt. This game isn’t even out yet, and based on all the comments it’s looking like there are going to be a substantial number of custom ships and cards shared amongst players worldwide via the still-to-come website.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out the full project here, watch the video, read all the updates, and then decide if Xia is for you. When this post goes live I expect readers will have a little less than 48 hours to decide. Plenty of time to talk about it with a spouse or gaming group, check the bank balance, and click the Pledge button.
Note: Again, I’d like to thank Cody Miller for providing an early version of the game to play test. He’s been the most gracious game designer, answering my questions and the hundreds posted by other backers.